1. ITV Report

Nigel Evans continues to deny sex crime allegations

Nigel Evans Photo: PA

Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans continued to deny sex crime allegations today after being questioned by police over fresh claims.

The 55 -year-old was already facing allegations of rape and sexual assault, and when he answered police bail today he was re-arrested over a further three counts of indecent assault.

Speaking outside Preston police station this afternoon, the Tory MP said:

Clearly we want closure of this as soon as possible and I carry on assisting this inquiry fully and openly.

"I continue to refute all allegations, and in the meantime can I say that I'm extremely grateful for the huge amount of support and love that I have received from my family, my friends and my constituents, and indeed people throughout the country who have contacted me.

– Nigel Evans MP, Ribble Valley

He was released on bail until September 10 pending further inquiries.

All of the allegations involve men in their 20s. Mr Evans was initially arrested in May over alleged rape and sexual assault said to have happened in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.

The new indecent assault allegations are claimed to have occurred in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011.

A Lancashire police spokesman said:

A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today answered his bail following his arrest in May on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

"He has subsequently been further arrested on suspicion of three further offences of indecent assault.

"We take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward.

"As a constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims.

"We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, or who has information about it, to have the confidence to report it to us knowing that we will take it seriously, deal with it sensitively and investigate it thoroughly

– Lancashire Police Spokesman

Last month Mr Evans dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends".

The Commons Deputy Speaker has stepped aside from his duties in that role since his arrest, but has continued to work as an MP.

He was one of three deputy speakers elected in a secret ballot of MPs in 2010. Later that year he came out as gay, saying he was "tired of living a lie".